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For Parents of 4th and 5th Grade Students:

We are currently accepting parent referrals from parents of 4th and 5th graders wishing to have their children evaluated for gifted education services. Students can be referred one time each school year—please contact your child’s SEARCH teacher if he or she was evaluated during the 2013-2014 school year before sending in a referral form.

For Parents of 3rd Grade Students:

Students with qualifying test scores on the CogAT and/or NNAT will receive a district referral via US mail in mid-February (on or around February 17, 2015). With parent permission (via a signed referral form), these students will be evaluated for gifted services. Parents of students who did not receive a district referral letter but who wish to have their children evaluated, may submit a parent referral form to their child's SEARCH teacher beginning on February 17, 2015.

What is SEARCH?
(Seeking Educational Alternatives to Reach and Challenge Higher)


All students in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades receive gifted education services through SEARCH. SEARCH teachers plan and present lessons focusing on five thinking skills– perceiving, creating, reasoning, connecting, and evaluating.  The lessons are designed to foster excitement for learning and discovery by stimulating critical and creative thinking through problem solving and open-ended situations.  Classroom teachers participate in these lessons, making observations about students who respond at a high level.


During a student’s third grade year, Loudoun County uses a multi-faceted approach to identify students for gifted services in the upper grades.  One factor is scores on standardized tests of 97% and above.  Teachers are asked to complete a survey on selected students. Documentation is provided by attaching outstanding work samples to the teacher evaluation.  Parents are given the opportunity to present their view of the child’s strengths and accomplishments, too.  The SEARCH teacher and the classroom teacher make observations during SEARCH lessons.  A student portfolio is compiled as part of class lessons during the third grade year or in response to a referral.  Other portfolio items may be submitted by the student or parents.  Completed files are evaluated by a committee and final decisions about the need for gifted services are made by the Gifted office.


SEARCH lessons fulfill the goals of the LCPS Gifted Education Department which are:

1.To become divergent creative thinkers who recognize problems and solve them.

2.To construct personal meaning and understanding of others and of the world around them.

3.To develop the capacity for self assessment (ownership of the learning).
 For more information, click the link below.
Last Modified on January 15, 2015